I realize I’m a couple of days behind on the blog. We’ve been in some pretty remote areas, including the Grand Canyon and wifi has been very sparse.
I have lots of photos to share, so I’ll just give a quick recap of the past couple of days.
Thursday, we said goodbye to our friends in Tucumcari and pushed on towards Arizona. We had a long, but very pretty flight that took us over a mountain pass that opened up to the city of Albuquerque. It was beautiful coming up over the mountains and seeing the city spread out before us. Shortly before reaching our destination of Winslow, we flew over the painted desert and petrified forest. It was surreal. Not the kind of landscape we are used to in Michigan. It reminded me of what it must be to fly over Mars. We landed in Winslow and rented a car. After spending a few hours exploring Winslow, and having a delicious lunch at the Turquoise Room at the famed La Posada hotel, we “stood on a corner”, long enough to get the photo and then we drove to the town of Holbrook. Now there is not a lot in Holbrook, Arizona. It is a small town on old Route 66 and although, there are still some quirky 66 attractions in town, much of it has died along with the bygone era. However, we had two very important reasons for visiting Holbrook. This is where the county courthouse is located, so this is where we needed to obtain our marriage license. Also, no trip to Route 66 is complete without a stay at the Wigwam village. It was very hokey and fun. It consists of a row of concrete teepees, each with an old classic car parked outside the door. We were in #3. The rooms were clean and roomy enough. The owner was wonderful. She comped us our room when she found out we were getting married! Who does that? We were blown away by her gesture.
On Friday morning, we drove back to Winslow, returned our car and departed for our ultimate destination, Sedona. Soon after our departure, we flew over the famous meteor crater. That was a pretty interesting experience. The best was yet to come though – the approach in to Sedona was breathtaking. We were awestruck. It is by far, the most beautiful place we have flown. Randy was able to check this off from his bucket list. He is now a part of the “aircraft carrier club”. Certificates are given to pilots who make a landing at Sedona, as it is similar to landing on a carrier. The runway is high up on a mesa with cliffs dropping off on each end. You don’t want to come up short and you don’t want to land long!
Upon landing, we met the airport manager, Amanda Shankland, who has been instrumental in making our airport wedding plans a reality. After a brief chat, we rented a car and drove up the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon on our way to the Grand Canyon for the night. We made a side trip to the Planes of Fame museum in Valle, AZ, before finally reaching the park. Words and photos cannot even begin to describe the Grand Canyon. You have to see it in order to really know how majestic and awe inspiring it is. The large forest fire on the north rim was visible from miles away. We couldn’t believe the scope and the size of the fire. It is devastating. High winds have made it impossible to contain. Last we heard, it had burned over 4,000 acres. We were on the South rim, and the fire and smoke was very apparent. We went back to a overlook after dark and I took some photos of the fire at night.
After a great day yesterday, this morning I woke up with some kind of stomach ailment. Last night I ate food from a questionable buffet at the lodge restaurant. I’m not sure if that was it or not, but I felt so ill, I was barely able to function this morning. I tried to power through, but when we drove to overlooks on the canyon this morning to continue our sight seeing, for the most part, I had to stay in the car and try to doze, while Randy went on to take photos. We cut our visit short and also had to cancel dinner plans with our wedding officiant this evening. What a disappointment. I just hope this goes away before our wedding day – and that Randy doesn’t catch anything. I feel a little better now, however still kind of queasy and funky. Ugh!
We checked in to our hotel in Sedona this afternoon and OH MY! It is fabulous. You should see our view! I’ll be posting photos of our digs on my next blog. However, I wanted to get you all caught up on our adventure to date.